FSSAI issues draft norms for e-commerce food operators

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Amid complaints against e-commerce companies about poor quality food products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Wednesday issued draft norms for online food business operators to obtain licences.
The FSSAI is seeking public comments on the norms, sources said.
“E-commerce food-business-operators (FBOs) will be covered under Schedule-I of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011. The FBOs will have to obtain licences from the Central Licensing Authority for the entire supply chain,” the FSSAI said.
The FSSAI has also defined e-commerce FBO as those entities which carry out any of the activities of section 3(n) of FSS Act through e-commerce platform. It has also defined the marketplace-based model of e-commerce FBO and inventory-based model of e-commerce FBO. “No food business operation by himself, or by any person on his behalf, manufacture, sell or distribute any article of food which is unsafe; or misbranded or substandard, or contains extraneous matter; or for which a licence is required,” the draft said.
However, it was clarified that the e-commerce entities providing directory services to sellers, restaurants, vendors, importers or manufacturers of food products may not be required to obtain any licence.

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